The Advantages of Digital Art

So, before you get disappointed at the idea of commissioning a purely digital artwork, consider the three primary advantages of the medium: Economy, Security, and Convenience.

ECONOMY

The very first advantage digital art has over physical art is that it is cheaper to produce, and therefore cheaper to provide. I once met an artist who charged over $200 for a landscape painting the size of a postcard, and that was thirty years ago, so you can imagine what that would cost now.

Physical art requires paint, brushes, extra space, specific lighting, extra time to set up and move around, more time to create (because of all the paint mixing and cleaning and like that…and those things all cost money. Oil paints can cost upwards of $40 a tube, and those tubes are smaller than your average lipstick. Digital art requires none of this, and the savings are passed on to you.

Even if you choose to send it somewhere to have it printed out, even on canvas, (which several print-on-demand services will do,) that would still be cheaper than having a physical artwork, unless you know an art student.

And if you knew one of those, you wouldn’t be reading this.

SECURITY

The second advantage of digital art is related to the idea of printing it out as a physical copy. I mean, suppose you’ve got an original, one-of-a-kind painted canvas that you really love hanging on the wall, and then a ninja crashes through the window and throws a rabid badger at it.

Or if that’s not a likely occurrence where you live (it was just the first thing that came to my mind), suppose you get into a fight with your ex (or soon-to-be-ex) and they know how much you love that painting…do I need to finish this thought?

My point is, if you print out digital work and it gets damaged, you can have another one as quickly as it takes to print it out. That’s also cheaper than commissioning an artist to paint another one. (See above.)

And sure, you lose a little of the “one of a kind” feeling that way, but it’s not like anyone else has a copy of the picture unless you give one to them. Besides, suppose you want the image on the front doors of your car. Not only is it cheaper (again, see above) to have vinyl appliques made, but you know for sure that both doors will have identical images on them, which is not a guarantee with hand-made physical art.

Even if you never print it out, you have the security of knowing it will always look the same. On physical work, colors fade in sunlight. Paint deteriorates over time upon exposure to air. Cigarette smoke does all kinds of sub-optimal things to physical work. A digital “painting” is not subject to this kind of damage over time. (At least, if it is saved in a “lossless” file format…the way I do.)

You should still make backup copies and store them on external drives, because lord knows computers are neither invulnerable nor infallible, but again, that’s something you just can’t do with a painted canvas.

CONVENIENCE

Digital art is delivered over the internet. There is no “2-4 weeks for delivery” tacked on to the end of however many days or weeks it takes to create the thing in the first place.

Even while it’s being made, there are advantages. If any changes in color or anything need to made, while that is not always simple or easy, it will be easier and simpler than scraping paint off a canvas. Faster, too.

And that’s the key to convenience: speed. With no paints to mix or brushes to wash, and no time necessary for it to dry, you get your piece made and delivered sooner than you would with physical art.

Conclusion

So, sure, digital art might not be quite the same as a fancy-pants, look-how-rich-I-am painting, but what the hell do you care, since it costs less and looks the same?

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